What customers want in 2015

The 2015 Digital Marketing To Do ListOverworked

Ahhh, January. The most common time of year to focus on a fresh start and obsess about New Year’s resolutions. It’s an actual mental leap between the stretchy pants of December to the health conscious obsession of January. And the same can be said of our business goals. People slow down in December, don’t take on as many new projects or meetings. We let our hair down in the office but come January, everyone is back on high alert and scrambling to get projects and goals back on track.
So, what do your customers want this year?
We can’t rely on old habits. The most important mental re-orientation we need to make in 2015 is that buyer behaviour has changed. And with it, comes a new and demanding prospect who doesn’t have the time, patience or energy to figure out what is not immediately obvious.

1. Clarity

If your website doesn’t say immediately on the home page what you do in several places that helps a visitor orient themselves to your solution, you should drop what you are doing right now and go and fix that problem. Marketing Profs has a great example of the most common mistakes people make on the home page of a website and a great example of what you can fix right now.
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2. Funny

Okay, so you may not be Tina Fey or Louis CK, but drab, boring website content and email campaigns are just downright painful. Humor is tough to pull off but if you land somewhere between amusing and informative, you have a chance of keeping your audience engaged. The Ikea BookBook commercial does a great job of this.
And this comes right back to what your customer wants… If you take the time to create a Content Roadmap, mapped back to how your customer buys a product or service like yours, you will uncover the right type of content they need in the buying process. When you have customer-centric content, not product-centric content, you not only provide them with information they want but that they need to make an informed buying decision. And how awesome is it for your customer if that content is fun to read?
If you absolutely must talk about yourself and your products or services, just remember the words of Charles Baudelaire...

Anybody at all has the right to talk about himself-provided he knows how to be entertaining.

3. Honesty

This is often a grey area for marketers and it should not be. The most important thing you must do if you are selling something to someone is to build trust. In order to build trust, your prospect must feel you are being honest. When you say one thing and do another, you are not being honest. This feeling plays out in many ways on a website and in marketing campaigns. It happens when…

  • You ask someone to click through from an email campaign but you send them to a home page and they have no idea where to go next.
  • You promise to share important information like pricing, but you fail to provide relevant details on your website.
  • You use non-standard navigation, generic labels or lengthy drop down menus on your website.

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A broken link on an email campaign or an inconsistent message from one medium, like email or social media, may not seem like a big deal to you but it is to your audience. It means you don’t care enough to help them land on the right content or guide them to the right information. If you walked into a cluttered, messy clothing store with unhelpful staff that sent you to the wrong area for socks, you’d be frustrated and you wouldn’t trust them. The same is true if it happens within your digital world. Just because you can’t see a customer or prospect rolling their eyes when a website is tough to navigate, doesn’t mean they don’t feel betrayed.

4. Quality

People are searching for good content. They crave useful, helpful and relevant information. How good is your content?
Here is a simple test.
Let’s say you sell something like “communications training.” When I do a search on this topic, here are the top five search results I find:
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Yet when I visit all of the websites, there is no content better than the Wikipedia website in helping me understand my options for training, choices and ways in which I could be trained. Each of the companies selling training services has made the fundamental mistake of assuming I know what communications training is and why I need it. None of them are providing any better quality content to Wikipedia in helping me understand choices.
The first step in any buying process is to understand choices. What could I do to solve a problem? This is where quality content is paramount. If your content is no better than what is already available on Wikipedia, you lose.

5. Easy

  • How many clicks does it take to get to important information your customer needs to make a buying decision?
  • How many choices do you give them in the process?
  • How much information do they need to consume in order to put you on the short list?
  • How easy it is for your prospect to give information about your company to their boss?

You get the picture. I could go on and on here. But that would make it harder for you to finish reading this post 🙂
If you really want to get your digital marketing “to do” list together for 2015, start by downloading our Content Marketing Workbook. It’s clear, fun to read, honest about level of effort, quality detail and easy to get.

Need I say more?

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